Communists urge Finland and Sweden to maintain neutrality instead of joining NATO 

Mainstream political sections in Finland and Sweden are persuading their respective governments to join NATO by fanning up the Russophobia that has been exacerbated by the ongoing war in Ukraine

April 18, 2022 by Peoples Dispatch
NATO - Finland Sweden
NATO headquarters in Brussels. 

Communist organizations in Finland and Sweden have urged their respective governments to maintain neutrality in foreign policy and refrain from pursuing NATO membership in the backdrop of the ongoing war in Ukraine. The Communist Party of Finland (SKP) and the Communist Party of Sweden (SKP), raised concerns over their governments’ intent to join the NATO war alliance. On April 13, in a joint press meet in the Swedish capital Stockholm, Finnish prime minister Sanna Marin and Swedish prime minister Magdalena Andersson had stated that Europe’s security landscape has drastically changed following the start of the war in Ukraine, and that a decision to apply for NATO membership can be expected sooner. 

Both Sweden and Finland have pursued a policy of neutrality towards the agenda of the US and the erstwhile Soviet Union, later Russia, since the onset of the Cold War. Despite significant pressure from centrist and center-right sections to join NATO, Finland and Sweden have been committed to formal neutrality for a long time. But the ongoing war in Ukraine has caused a rise in militarism and Russophobia in the region, and sections within the social democratic parties in the two countries have started rooting for NATO membership.

On April 16, JP Väisänen from the Communist Party of Finland told Peoples Dispatch that his party is clearly opposed to Finland’s possible NATO membership and the strengthening of any plans to join military alliances in the EU. “World crises, conflicts and wars need countries and regions to stand away from big powers like the US and Russia and their conflicts, in order to function as a neutral and respected functionary to facilitate necessary dialogue and finding mutual steps in understanding and peace making,” he said

“SKP opposes the increase of Finnish military budget and the deal for F35 fighters. We stand on the side of the European Peace movement and demand more resources in building civil society peace and participatory initiatives. SKP is against the Russian war in Ukraine but we also see Russia as a neighbor and not an enemy,” he added.

On Saturday, April 16, in his statement to Peoples Dispatch, Andreas Sorenson from the Communist Party of Sweden said that “since the start of the war in Ukraine, militarism has been ramped up and pro-NATO propaganda has been transmitted throughout the entire media landscape. These steps have prepared the ground for the formal membership of Sweden in NATO, something that we see as a very dangerous development.”

“We oppose the membership of our country in NATO, as it strengthens not only Swedish imperialism, but also solidifies the NATO-EU-USA imperialist bloc. In turn, this places Sweden at the forefront of the sharpening contradiction, making its people a possible target in future conflicts, as well as further escalating the contradictions inherent in the capitalist-imperialist system,” he added.